LINK DROPPERS -
Most everyone who reads this content is currently engaging in some type of online community be it facebook, a linkedin group, twitter, a review site or a favorite blog or forum to name a few examples. Online communities, also referred to as ‘digital tribes’, are made up of passionate followers of a brand, service or cause and trust me when I tell you, they put their heart and sole into the cause. As digital tribes grow larger and mature, the bond between tribe members strengthens. I have seen this first hand many times over the past several years. Digital tribes become very protective of their own and although many open group online communities are inviting to everyone, true engagement in the communities social stream is how you really earn your respect.
The Link Dropper:
We have all seen the Link Dropper, you know, the person with no profile picture (usually they are an egg) or maybe even an eye catching icon. Link Droppers are what I call hit and run specialists. They do not attempt to participate in group discussions and never engage with group members. Yet they have a strong presence shamelessly self promoting their brand or service down countless consumers facebook walls and twitter feeds or maybe even hijacking a Linkedin group with repeated discussion posts in an attempt to dominate the real estate in the stream.
What is exactly does a Link Dropper do?:
Here is an example – I am a strong advocate of Linkedin groups, having started over 50 of them myself, and am pretty sure you must be a member of at least a few. Group topics can be highly defined and have a very tight halo they focus on. Highly targeted spammers get this too. Consider a group focused on raising money for Non-Profits. Let’s also say this particular group is very engaging and has multiple discussions going on at the same time, many different members commenting on an assortment of discussions, all for the common good of the group. Along comes the Link Dropper who creates a compelling headline with not much content but rather something like this :
5 Secrets to Raising Money for Non-Profits - Click Here
It’s that – click here – where the problem lies. Those ‘click here‘ links land on their website and allow cookies to be planted, browsing history to be analyzed, data to be mined and house sexy data capture forms disguised as free offers. Straight up shameless self promotion in a online community disguised as a compelling offer. Sheer infiltration…
I am a strong believer that growing your followers, friends and contacts exponentially grows your true reach. In other words, I accept just about all connection invitations until someone proves me wrong. I understand the power of true reach and how a disruptive topic can spread like wild fire. Common link droppers on my facebook wall are real estate agents. I might have friended an agent because they were a friend of a friend, had written an interesting post or a myriad of other reasons. You know what I’m talking about. The ones that stream properties for sale down your facebook wall relentlessly on a daily basis.
Excuse me – I dont even know your name! - #Unfriend
The next time you post content on the web, take a step back and ask yourself -
Am I offering up valuable content that my audience will find useful or am I just really trying to make a sale?